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Franchise Focus


increased cashflow for reinvesting in your marketing and other running costs,” says Danny. He adds: “One of our other new franchisees has set up in a large, regional garden centre averaging a weekly footfall of 20,000 visitors, which is far more than you’d expect through regular high- street premises.”


So does this signal the end for Granite


Transformations’ high-street presence? Not at all says Danny, who expects that in due course most new franchisees will trade up to a bricks-and-mortar showroom, whilst retaining the original concession site, thereby widening their retail presence.


“A garden centre concession will ramp up sales much quicker than a high street showroom.”


He says: “Given the right site selection,


high-street premises can attract passing trade, build brand awareness in your sales territory, create an image of stability and confidence, and help develop a strong long-term business. A showroom gives the floorspace to show the complete product range and install several kitchen and bathroom displays. Equally important, customers are reassured when they know there is a bricks-and-mortar shop, they can go back to if necessary and talk to the owner.”


Previously, that would mean prominent


high-street premises with adjacent parking, but with the continued economic downturn Granite Transformations found that otherwise excellent franchise candidates were struggling to invest in bricks and mortar. Particularly when each new round of quarterly rent payments prompts a further wave of high-street shops going out of business.


Rather than see good franchise recruits simply drift away, Granite Transformations developed an alternative business package that dispensed with high-street premises, in favour of an in-store concession site. This format had been tried out by existing franchise owners, mostly in garden centres, as a means of extending their own retail presence and it has proved a winner. Why garden centres? Well, concession


sites are an intrinsic part of modern garden-centre retailing, adding to the relaxed informal shopping environment. So there are opportunities to lease unmanned concessions and other internal retail space, with the considerable bonus


that weekly customer footfall usually outstrips a standalone high-street shop. Also, home improvement and gardening are complementary pursuits, attracting customers with disposable income and a desire to add value to their properties. The garden centre demographic matches Granite Transformations’ target customers almost exactly, with a mature age profile and a distinct bias toward home ownership. So Granite Transformations franchise owners are able to trade within a captive marketplace, providing tremendous scope for rapid business growth. Chief operating officer, Danny Hanlon,


reports that already one new franchisee, with a three-metre-long display unit complete with video screen, achieved sales revenue exceeding £30,000 in the first month. “A garden centre concession will ramp up sales much quicker than a high-street showroom, which we might expect to start with £10,000 – £15,000 monthly turnover, then build more gradually. So you get underway quicker and start to generate


Some new franchise recruits are still investing in high-street premises and a number of existing franchise owners have added second and third showrooms to their operations, in the full knowledge that new sites will draw in further trade. Granite Transformations is also aware that a strong high-street presence adds value to the brand and increases its street-level visibility, to the cumulative benefit of all franchisees. So what Granite Transformations has skilfully achieved with its concession site franchise package, is an easier, more affordable point of entry for would-be franchisees, who can use the instant cashflow generated to build a viable business. Rather that, than let suitable candidates turn their backs on the franchise market altogether. n


GRANITE TRANSFORMATIONS


WEBSITE: www.gtfranchise.co.uk EMAIL: franchiseleads@granitetransformations.co.uk PHONE: 01892 509 680 CLASSIFICATION: Home improvement


May 2012 | Businessfranchise.com | 53


Investment: £10k-£20k


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